Shopping in Dubai
Dubai is a shoppers paradise. Not only does it offer tax free and duty free items, it has probably the largest concentration of shopping centers anywhere around the world. Its great location and its perfect all year round climate is an important part of why it has such positive reviews. As a playground for the rich including privacy for celebrities, luxurious holiday resorts and access to numerous flights, getting to the Emirate is exceptionally easy. Thanks to some aggressive global marketing, promotional campaigns and great deals of financial investment, the Dubai government has done a great deal to ensure that construction on these mega projects in this cosmopolitan city continues to grow to increase tourism.
In Dubai, everything is bigger, surreal and on a grander scale as to
what you would expect in most countries. The great thing about shopping
in Dubai is that most of the world's best brands are present as
the Emirate is seen as a playground for the wealthy. These include anything
from fashion labels, clothing retailers, furniture stores as well as
consumer electronics. If you want to engage in some entertainment whilst
out on your shop then worry not as there are cinemas to suit all tastes.
If you want to eat then there are an abundance of restaurants to cater
for all cuisines and palates. This is pretty much the feel throughout
most of the malls and shopping complexes in Dubai and the Emirates and
certainly one which is memorable.
If you are a keen shopper then there are plenty of shopping malls that
you can try out. The ones that you should not miss are Mall of Emirates,
Deira City Centre and Ibn Batuta Mall. If you want to try out something
luxurious then there is always the Madinat Jumeirah precinct. Although
it is small, there is also Mercato on Jumeirah road which is quite unique
and fun. You can read more on the individual shopping mall pages as
and when we bring you the information.
Whether you are looking for luxury goods in the many malls or gold
and spices from the souks (traditional bazaar), you can be sure to find
what you are looking for. You can usually haggle your way down especially
if you are going to be paying by cash.
If you are in a hurry then you can go on one of the many specialised
shopping tours which should help you get the ball rolling. Some of these
also include trips to nearby Emirate Sharjah which also is renowned
for it's Souks. Mall timings can vary but in general, shopping centres
open around 10am and shut around 10pm. Some even shut at midnight.
Dubai Shopping Festival 2011 - (January 2011)
- Expect plenty of Sales & Discounts
The Emirate also holds the annual Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) which runs between January and February every year. The purpose is for the international community to realise Dubai's potential as one of the worlds greatest shopping precincts. As a result it attracts visitors and tourists from all over the globe making it a great experience for those looking for bargains on their holidays as well as being a boost for tourism. It is probably the greatest retail event on the planet.
During DSF there are lots of activities and promotions where prices are slashed and you can get get discounts of upto 50% off on many products. In the past people have won lots of prizes in the many competitions such as a Lexus brand car being offered in a raffle.
Plenty of exhibitions, attractions and advertising mean that you will be in awe of the shopping festival wherever you go. You can see it in magazines, billboards, TV and constantly hear about it on the radio. The organisers have gone to many lengths to ensure that this years shopping festival is bigger and better than last year. Bollywood singers and actors are always part of the lineup at the many of the events that take place in the City. Get involved in the DSF raffle and win some prizes too.
So what kinds of events can we anticipate? If you head down to Al Dhiyafah Street, you can expect to see lots of decorated street lights, performances and plenty of parades. If you feel hungry, don't worry as there are plenty of restaurants and eating options at this popular street. Shopping in Dubai doesn't just necessarily mean offers in physical products but also cheap tickets to many regional attractions like the Burj Khalifa as well as other amusement and leisure complexes.
The DSF takes place in the first quarter of the year and initially started out as a way to get trade going in Dubai. Popularity of this mega event has seen continued growth since it started and is now permanently promoted as an annual tourist attraction and event which generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. In addition it draws over three million people alone and so is a great boost to the local economy. Great for business such as hotels and general trade in Dubai. We would definitely recommend that you visit the City during this very fun and exciting time of the year.
Dubai Summer Surprises
This event similar to the DSF happens in the middle of the year and
lasts for approximately 10 weeks. It is very similar to the shopping
festival and as part of the fun, there are raffles, competitions, prizes
giveaways and more.
City Shopping with Sales & Discounts
From the moment you arrive at Dubai international airport via Emirates Airlines or another carrier, you can't help but miss one of the biggest duty free areas in the world. Whether you are here for a weekend or longer, there are plenty of companies promising you a good deal from small gifts to real estate.
Deira Souks - Plenty of Shiny Gold and Spices
The great thing about shopping in Dubai is the ability to not only find some of the best brands that we all know but the regional markets (souks) that have been here for hundreds of years. Just along each side of the Creek lies the Gold souk which houses some of the best gold jewellery in the world. You will be amazed at just the sheer number of shops dedicated to this precious metal and the intricate designs. Costing a lot less than Europe and in the US, its no surprise why the Gold Souk has become such a major tourist attraction for people who want to buy it and get a bargain at the same time. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, you can still find some of the 'Old' traditional shopping in Dubai in the form of the spice souk. Small booth style shops where things are still measured and weighed can be viewed here. There is also the opportunity to experience the textile industry where one can purchase woven carpets and also traditional perfume. Jumping on the Abra for a few 'Fils', you can visit the spice souk and see part of the cultural heritage of the City.
On the subject of Gold, you might also want to check out the boutique Gold & Diamond Park on Shaykh Zayed Road. This is a beautiful mall which is ideal for purchasing bridal sets, accessories or just as gifts. It is a stone throw from the Mall of Emirates and a few minutes to the Burj Dubai (Khalifa) by car or Dubai Metro.
With users becoming more internet savvy, online shopping is now on the increase and the region is growing at a phenomenal rate. Just pick up a copy of a quality publication or newspaper such as the Gulf News and you will see the number of online retailers increasing all the time.